We started off on a cool fine day, but it wasn’t long before the sun was out and things started to warm up, unfortunately this afternoon it was back to rain.
We went about half an hour down the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal until we reached Aldersley Junction where we turned sharp left to climb the Wolverhampton 21 locks. We were very pleased to find the first lock empty, this meant there was no one going up ahead so all the locks should be with us. After 3 locks a chap came towards us with a windlass just as we were leaving the lock, he was setting the locks in readiness for the ex working boat Bellatrix. This was even better news as all the ponds were full of water and all the locks would have been emptied this morning, so not half full due to overnight leakage. We didn’t meet any other boats in the flight and only one lock needed about 6” of water draining from it. We saw the group walk passed in both directions, the "Supervisor" was carrying a spade, the rest litter pickers. I think they may have been on community service.
You can see how nice the weather was this morning with the warm sun and light breeze.
At lock 15 we found the C&RT volunteer store complete with volunteers, they told me that they were keeping the flight clean and smart, I couldn't argue with that, even the paddle gear was well greased.
Half way up the flight Diana pointed out this works with its raised clerestory roof, I wonder how many more like this are about.
We finally reached the top of the flight, it had taken us two hours and forty minutes with Diana doing virtually all the work as my back is still not 100%. This old British Waterways sign is still at the top lock, I wonder if anyone will be moved to paint roses on a blue, plastic C&RT one, I doubt it.
Almost as soon as we left the locks it started raining and 10 minutes later I met the second boat of the day, I was in the bridge when the came round the bend , a couple of seconds later they would have been right up to the bridge so that worked well. C&RT have a trailable boat that they use for surveying waterways etc, I wonder how often that fully caged prop gets clogged with rubbish.
We pushed on and almost at Tipton someone has cleared this section of offside bank, I decided to photograph it and picked the camera up, suddenly I thought there was someone sitting there and put the camera down again. This is what it was.
We pushed on to moor in Tipton for the night, we decided not to use John the Locks mooring but be Bill no mates on the towpath side.
10.25 miles, 21 locks in 5 hours.
Map courtesy of Waterway Routes https://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/